Skip to main content

Gujarat farmers' suicide: Reasons include failure to offer mimimum support price for cotton, financial crisis

By Our Representative
A fact-finding team, consisting of representatives of three Gujarat-based farmers’ organizations, has reached the conclusion, on the basis of a spot query, that farmers are in deep financial crisis, one reason why a new tendency are cropped up among them to commit suicide. A report prepared by Persis Ginwalla , Balendra Vaghela and Sagar Rabari of Jameen Adhikar Andolan Gujarat, Saurashtra-Kutch Lok Hit Sangharsh Samiti and the Khedut Samaj Gujarat, respectively, said, as against Rs 800 offered to them as minimum support price (MSP) for per 20 kg of cotton, the minimum input cost comes to at least Rs 1,042.
“This suggests that each farmer suffers a loss of at least Rs 242 per 20 kg while producing cotton. MSP is what the government must offer to cotton farmers, but in the market they get just about Rs 600 to Rs 650, while the government is totally indifferent towards offering farmers with MSP. This is against what they had earned last year, around Rs 1,600 per 20 kg, one reason why they decided to sow cotton on their fields in large numbers”, said Vaghela, releasing their report to mediapersons in Ahmedabad.
The spot inquiry of the condition of farmers was carried out in a village where a young farmer Arvindbhai Bhupatbhai Nagani, committed suicide by setting himself to fire as a symbolic protest against cotton prices on December 22. Belonging to Dharai village, near Chotila taluka of Rajkot district of Saurashtra region, the report said, majority of the 4,000 villagers belong to the backward Koli community. It added, considering the cattle population of the village, it should have around 1,200 acres of grazing land; “but most of it is riddled with encroachment, and the actual land for grazing is just about 33 acres.”
“Drinking water was envisaged from Narmada, and though a pipeline was laid down, water has still not reached the village. Upon lodging a complaint, the villagers were told that since the village is located in a remote area, it is not feasible for water to reach there. There is a borewell in the village from which drinking water is supplied, but during summers the groundwater levels go down drastically, and there is acute scarcity”, the report said.
The report further said, “There is no health centre in the village. In a nearby village, Anandpur, there there is a health centre, there is no resident doctor, and services are not available when required. Necessary health services are available at Vinchhiya village, which is 16 kilometres away.” It added, while there is a primary school up to eighth standard, the nearest high school is about 24 km away, in Jasdan.
Situated on a terrain, no irrigation facilities are available to the farmers of the village. Farmers, as a result, are able to grow just one crop, earning supplementary income from animal husbandry. “Due to rising prices and in order to shoulder family responsibilities, farmers are switching over to cash crops”, the report said.
It added, “Farmers though that as cotton crop is relatively more rewarding, increasing number of farmers moved towards growing it. However, input costs for growing the crop, including labour costs, are high. Because of lack of education, the farmers are unable to keep track of income they can earn by growing the crop, and they in for producing the crop in the hope of getting a bumper crop”.
Addressing newspersons, Vaghela said, reports of farmers’ suicides are continuing to pour in, especially from Saurashtra region. “With the latest report of a farmer from Kalavad village in Jamnagar district having committed suicide on Monday, already, over the last fortnight, in all four farmers have committed suicide”, he said. Added Indukumar Jani, a senior activist, “Large number of small and marginal farmers is go to the moneylender as the formal banking system, including the cooperative banks, do not offer loan at a cheaper rate.”

Comments

TRENDING

Nirma varsity demand for higher fees 'illegal', violates Article 14: Letter to Gujarat HC

Counterview Desk
Students of Gujarat’s top private institute, Nirma University, situated in the outskirts of Ahmedabad, in a letter to the Chief Justice the state High Court, have complained that the authorities are demanding “full fees” from students, without taking into account the “disproportionate impact” the lockdown has on the livelihood of students and families.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

By Our Representative
Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book, "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Vulnerable to Covid-19, sharp rise in murder of Indian journalists during pandemic

By Nava Thakuria*
Vulnerability of working journalists in India is no way an alien issue as the populous country loses a number of working journalists to assailants as also medical emergencies. Even though there was only one casualty in the Indian media fraternity during the first half of 2020, who was targeted for journalistic work, India has begun witnessing an alarming number of media casualties during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Govt 'assures' Gujarat HC no action against MBBS students defying corona sahayak order

By Our Representative
The Gujarat government has assured the High Court that no action would be taken against Part-I and Part-II MBBS students of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC)-controlled NHL Medical College and LG Hospital and Medical College. The assurance follows the direction by Justice SH Vora to the State government not to prosecute or initiate action against the students who were defying the college authorities’ order to work as corona sahayaks (helpers).

Renounced US citizenship to serve workers, tribals, Sudha Bharadwaj 'odiously' in jail

By Atul, Sandeep Pandey*
Professor Sudha Bharadwaj has been in jail since August 2018. She was taken into police custody on August 26, 2018 on suspicion of being involved in Maoist terror activities after Republic TV claimed that she had allegedly written a letter to Maoists and was conspiring to create public disorder and unrest in India.

Cruel legacy of Green Revolution? Covid-19 underscores 'risky, fragile' food system

By Moin Qazi*  The Covid-19 crisis has highlighted the risks of an unhealthy diet and the extreme fragility of food systems. The economic reconstruction that will follow the pandemic is the perfect opportunity to provide better nutrition and health to all. The pandemic should spur us to redefine how we feed ourselves, and agricultural research can play a vital role in making our food systems more sustainable and resilient.

Plant organic, eat fresh: Emlen Bage's journey from migrant labour to agri-entrepreneur

By Chandrashekar and Kriti*
Who is a farmer? Type this question in the google search and check out the images? You can see men thronging the screen. This is the popular perception around the globe. Well one can understand how difficult it would be for a woman to defy this perception.

High youth unemployment: India 'fails' to take advantage of demographic dividend

By Varun Kumar
As coronavirus pandemic continues amplifying challenges among youth with regard to employment opportunities, government policies have further resulted in economic slowdown, leading to mass unemployment and loss jobs. According to the International Labour Organisation report “Covid-19 and the World of Work” (May 27, 2020), around 94 percent of the world’s workers are living in countries with some sort of workplace closure measures in place.

Dichotomy? US Hindutva groups oppose racism, mum on Modi's 'anti-minority' stance

By Our Representative
The Hindus for Human Rights (HHR), a US-based advocacy group, has noticed a major dichotomy between the stance taken by RSS’ US arm, Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh (HSS), expressing “shock” at the “painful killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others”, all of which suggest “the tragic tale of racial injustice” in US, and HSS’ “hatred” for India’s religious minorities and Dalits.